Most Affordable Online Clinical Research Degrees

Maximize profit in your career by checking out the 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Clinical Research.

25 Most Affordable Bachelors in Clinical Research

You’re working as a laboratory assistant and are looking for qualifications to move up in your current place of work. Or perhaps you have technical military training, and are looking to reinforce your skills with a full degree program. Either way, an online bachelor’s degree in clinical research is an optimal way to invest in your future and pursue your career goals without having to take time off from your current position.

What Is a Bachelor’s in Clinical Research Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in clinical research provides the qualifications needed to work in a medical laboratory. Medical technicians test new potential therapies before they are made available to the general public, including clinical devices and medications. They also continue to test treatments already approved for medical use, monitoring them for potential effects or dangers. Researchers are incredibly important to both public health centers and private clinics, as 70% of the decisions made by doctors are based on the results of laboratory testing. 

BS in Clinical Research degrees, sometimes also called Medical Laboratory Science or Laboratory Technician degrees, are almost always a combined degree, meaning they require prior credits from another institution for enrollment. Some require an entire accredited associate degree, while others will accept a combination of transfer credits alone.

How Much Can You Earn with a Clinical Research Degree?

A scientist who receives their Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research can work in a number of technician positions within a laboratory. Some of the potential sectors include: biotechnology, public health, molecular diagnostics, industry quality control, and veterinary technology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a laboratory technician makes an average of $53,000 a year. Projections predict that an aging population will cause an increased need for diagnostics and clinical researchers. The field as a whole is expected to grow 11% in the next ten years, a percentage much higher than other job sectors. 

What Is Required for a Clinical Research Degree?

Clinical research degree requirements change significantly depending on individual university requirements and each applicant’s past experiences. Almost all programs require transfer credits, although what they require and what they’re willing to accept varies by school, and some programs will ask for prior lab experience. It is also possible to be asked for standardized test scores (such as the ACT or SAT), a letter or recommendation, and/or a personal essay. 

All accredited BS in Clinical Research and Laboratory Science degrees require lab clinicals in order to graduate. Some will accept prior experience as laboratory credit, but others will require you to complete clinicals as an integrated part of your study program. For those currently working in a laboratory environment, many programs will allow you to work directly with your current place of employment, provided there is a mentor willing to guide the course of study. Some states also require additional certifications or licensure in order to practice, so make sure you know which state you want to work in. 

What Are the Best Online Clinical Research Degrees?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Louisiana State University-Alexandria

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,984(in state) / $4,984(out of state)
    • Tuition: $7,682
    • Credit Hours: 48
    • Dedicated concierge assigned to you from the application process to graduation.

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate31%
    Programs offered online7

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School29.17%

    The BS in Medical Laboratory Science program at Louisiana State University prides itself on creating the ideal equilibrium between coursework flexibility and quality learning. Students are able to speak with full-time, professional faculty members through video chat and other online technologies. Utilizing the maximum number of transfer credits, you can expect to pay as little as $3,492 to complete your degree. 

  2. Marshall University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,676(in state) / $16,734(out of state)
    • Tuition: $8,850
    • Credit Hours: 120-122
    • Courses are limited to 20 – 25 students each
    • 100% job placement for graduates within six months

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77%
    Admission Rate90%
    Programs offered online4

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School21.95%

    Marshall University prepares its students to pursue advanced education tracks or to jump directly into the field after graduation. This university accepts applications throughout the year, although they generally admit students directly before the fall and spring enrollment periods. This Bachelor of Science is specifically accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

  3. West Virginia State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,546(in state) / $16,550(out of state)
    • Tuition: $9,860
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Accredited by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC)
    • Up to 72 transfer credits accepted from accredited universities

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction79%
    Admission Rate98%
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School2.16%

    This BS in Health Sciences from West Virginia State University provides students with more of a general education than some of the other degrees on this list. However, we’ve included it on this list because it excellently provides the skills needed for many entry-level jobs in the sector. WV State’s health sciences degree gives students a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between social factors and their health. 

  4. Weber State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,773(in state) / $14,321(out of state)
    • Tuition: $10,951
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Clinical Mentor established for each student
    • Credit for previous clinical laboratory facility experience

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction78%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School31.19%

    A $30 application fee, optional SAT/ACT scores, and high school transcripts are the only things required to apply to this program, and that’s only if you have less than 30 credits. It’s clear that Weber State University seeks to maximize accessibility for all students with its BS in Medical Laboratory Science. General education requirements for the BS degree can be taken either prior to or concurrently with the MLS program. 

  5. Winston-Salem State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $3,401(in state) / $13,648(out of state)
    • Tuition: $10,951
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Must be certified as a medical laboratory technician for acceptance

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School53.52%

    The MLT to CLS Distance Learning degree at Winston-Salem State University is earned by completing two phases: the Pre-Professional Phase of non-clinical coursework and the Professional Phase of clinical coursework. The program is extremely job-focused, with the goal of preparing students to develop entry-level competencies in all routine areas of the clinical laboratory.  WSSY prides itself as a champion of diversity in the medical field, striving to bring equity to all patients within health care systems. 

  6. Auburn University at Montgomery

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,320(in state) / $16,440(out of state)
    • Tuition: $12,807
    • Credit Hours: 65
    •  96% of students pass the Board of Certification Exam after graduation

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate83%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School26.21%

    Auburn University at Montgomery seeks to provide, “first rate, laboratory education through instruction, research and service.” Its medical and clinical laboratory sciences degree touts an innovative and advanced curriculum in its online instruction, which is proven by its 100% job success rate after graduation. Applications are accepted March through June, with program start dates in the fall.

  7. Augusta University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,382(in state) / $20,778(out of state)
    • Tuition: $13,112
    • Credit Hours: 121
    • Up to eight semester hours of laboratory courses can be awarded as experiential credit
    • Upon graduation, students are eligible for national MLS examination

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77%
    Admission Rate75%
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School31.12%

    The BS in Clinical Laboratory Science from Augusta University blends theory with practical application, training students in high-end technologies such as automated chemistry and hematology analyzers, as well as molecular testing probes. As a student studying at Augusta University, you can continue your education directly through its master’s in health science program. Applications for the online program must be submitted by June 1st.

  8. Ferris State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $11,564(in state) / $18,570(out of state)
    • Tuition: $13,351
    • Credit Hours: 127-129
    • Must complete professional coursework within five years of program start
    • Medical Laboratory Technology Registered Student Organization

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72%
    Admission Rate74%
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School18.68%

    Ferris State University’s medical laboratory science degree is ideal for both beginners in the field and those with some prior experience. FSU seeks to create well-rounded and ethical scientists, requiring the completion of competencies in its Diversity, Collaboration and Culture courses. Students looking to participate in the complete program must apply separately for the professional sequence.

  9. University of Southern Mississippi

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,108(in state) / $8,108(out of state)
    • Tuition: $13,773
    • Credit Hours: 124
    • Senior year students will be required to complete a 20-week clinical session
    • Military friendly curriculum

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77%
    Admission Rate98%
    Programs offered online18

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School15.51%

    This online bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science was created specifically for technicians who are currently employed but still want to earn their Bachelor of Science degree. The curriculum focuses on in-depth procedural and analysis techniques while also providing communication and oral skills. The University of Southern Mississippi also offers multiple scholarships specifically for online MLS students. 

  10. Northern Michigan University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,786(in state) / $15,408(out of state)
    • Tuition: $14,243
    • Credit Hours: 126
    • Program can be completed at your own pace
    • Students have the ability to complete a workplace leadership minor

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate74%
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School17.99%

    The online coursework for the medical laboratory science degree at Northern Michigan University can be completed in just two years. Designed for working students, the degree is completed simultaneously while working full-time in your current laboratory. In order to apply for this MLS degree, NMU requires an attestation form demonstrating two years of full-time medical laboratory technician experience.

  11. University of North Dakota

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,946(in state) / $18,546(out of state)
    • Tuition: $15,374
    • Credit Hours: 126
    • Over 70 clinical affiliates covering 15 states
    • Degree offered since 1949

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate83%
    Programs offered online13

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School14.62%

    The University of North Dakota takes a national approach to its MLS degree. The program includes a cohort program with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and affiliation agreements with higher education institutions in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona and Montana. There are five different routes of study towards completing this Bachelor of Science degree.

  12. Old Dominion University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,630(in state) / $23,955(out of state)
    • Tuition: $15,917
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Discounted tuition for active duty military students
    • Formal clinical rotations are not required for certified medical laboratory technicians

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate86%
    Programs offered online19

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School18.16%

    At Old Dominion University, MLS courses can be taken at your own pace, with exams being held within a date-range rather than at specific times. ODU participates in a guaranteed admission program, meaning the right prerequisites will ensure you a place in the next enrollment class. High achievers are greatly rewarded at ODU: a cumulative GPA of 3.5 earns automatic consideration for merit-based scholarships. 

  13. University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,443(in state) / $18,508(out of state)
    • Tuition: $17,771
    • Credit Hours: 124-126
    • Only 60 students are admitted each year
    • MentorCR program pairs undergraduates with industry professionals

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School13.93%

    The UNCW clinical research program prepares students to be forerunners in the field, training them in drug development and biomedical supplies with an emphasis on pre-approval human clinical trials and post-marketing safety studies. The degree stands out in the fact that, although there are two field internships required for graduation, they are not a laboratory-based program.

  14. South Dakota State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,191(in state) / $10,439(out of state)
    • Tuition: $18,253
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Electronic laboratory simulation program
    • Signed letter of support from current employer in the field required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate91%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School22.87%

    Don’t let it surprise you that South Dakota State University offers an innovative accelerated MLS degree. The competitive program is condensed into two years, taught virtually and in direct collaboration with your current employer. Coursework materials are provided through the online Desire2Learn course management system.

  15. Kettering College

    20-Year ROI
    $1,088,603

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $12,408(in state) / $12,408(out of state)
    • Tuition: $19,037
    • Credit Hours: 34-37
    • Approved by the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA)
    • Member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate28%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School100.00%

    If you’re looking for a program that aligns with the spirit of Christian caring and service, then the BS in Health Sciences at Kettering College is the right choice for you. KS’s health sciences degree provides a high-quality, values-based baccalaureate education covering a wide array of health topics. Students can choose to specialize their degree and can pursue an emphasis in the sector of their choosing. 

  16. Siena Heights University

    20-Year ROI
    $833,916

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $25,390(in state) / $25,390(out of state)
    • Tuition: $19,526
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Personally designed program coursework
    • Minimum of 35 major credits needed for admittance

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction78%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online48

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department16
    Popularity at School29.76%

    The Bachelor in Applied Sciences at Siena Heights University is distinctive on our list in that it provides an “inverted,” or reverse, plan of study for degree attainment. This program is designed for students who have already completed technical training programs, qualifying applied associate degrees, and/or have worked in the field for over two years. 

  17. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,322(in state) / $24,656(out of state)
    • Tuition: $20,085
    • Credit Hours: 134-135
    • Exams must be proctored at a local testing center or other location
    • Average completion time 2.5 years

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate76%
    Programs offered online9

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School18.84%

    University of Cincinnati’s BS in Medical Laboratory Science is rigorous in preparing students to become practical employees after graduation. Students must complete a combination of training in OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens, OSHA Hazardous Communications, and HIPAA Privacy Introductions in order to progress through the curriculum. International students are accepted after submitting qualifying TOEFL scores, and UC accepts applicants every semester. 

  18. Virginia Commonwealth University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,493(in state) / $35,834(out of state)
    • Tuition: $20,897
    • Credit Hours: 40
    • 3.0 GPA required for program admission
    • Computer used for coursework should not be more than two years old

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate84%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School6.79%

    As a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University’s bachelor’s in clinical laboratory sciences, you will be prepared with both a theoretical and a practical foundation of knowledge. VCU’s educational goals are two-fold: proficiency in laboratory testing techniques and practices, and appropriate professional conduct and leadership characteristics. Students can complete the degree program on either a full-time or part-time basis. 

  19. Grand Canyon University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,049,692

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $16,365(in state) / $16,365(out of state)
    • Tuition: $21,403
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Classes divided into seven-week segments
    • Up to 90 credits can be transferred

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction69%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online37

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School59.27%

    Grand Canyon University offers a BS in General Health Science, which can be tailored to your unique learning objectives. Its study program is divided into four primary domains: Patient Care, Leadership and Management, Risk Management and Ethics, and Trends and Issues. Completion of coursework is asynchronous and the senior capstone project is chosen as a direct application of theory from your work experience.

  20. Jefferson College of Health Sciences

    20-Year ROI
    $1,067,616

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $25,400(in state) / $25,400(out of state)
    • Tuition: $25,433
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Rolling admissions policy
    • Most graduate within two-three years

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate39%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School91.42%

    We’ve included Thomas Jefferson University’s BS in Health Services Management since it provides all of the training needed to hold a leadership position within a clinical research facility. Courses include Finding and Evaluating Statistical Data, Leadership Theory and Ethical Practices, and Survey of Health Services Delivery Systems. Each course generally lasts eight weeks.

  21. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

    20-Year ROI
    $1,073,575

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $27,084(in state) / $27,084(out of state)
    • Tuition: $26,916
    • Credit Hours: 56
    • Currently waiving enrollment deposits

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School100.00%

    The Bachelor of Science program at Pennsylvania College seeks to add a general, collaborative education to existing specialized skills. The degree is open to health care professionals already possessing an associate degree in any specified health care field. Students in the region can reserve a space at the Sim Lab, a state-of-the-art Clinic Simulator Lab, for direct application practice of coursework topics. 

  22. George Washington University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,376,291

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $51,274(in state) / $51,274(out of state)
    • Tuition: $38,100
    • Credit Hours: 60
    • Two year completion schedule
    • Online access to campus resources, including tutors, writing center, career services, and libraries

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate41%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School26.23%

    Don’t knock this BSHS in Clinical Research Administration for its higher price tag; George Washington University certainly delivers for this degree. In addition to receiving a degree identical to on-campus graduates, BSHS students are able to dive into cutting-edge coursework in topics such as clinical trial framework, drug and device development, and protocol data management. Many online clinical research admin classes have a student-instructor ratio that’s lower than their on-campus equivalent. 

  23. The University of Texas Medical Branch

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,095(in state) / $19,306(out of state)
    • Tuition: 18,268
    • Credit Hours: 60
    • Security background check required for all matriculating students 
    • Application deadlines in July and December

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction82%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School100.00%

    The clinical laboratory science program at the University of Texas was one of the first in the Southwest, approved by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists Board of Registry in 1937. In addition to standard coursework, all students participate in rigorous preceptorships before graduation. While there’s no doubting the quality of this program, it’s best suited for those already in the region: each laboratory course requires two weekend (three-day) in-school sessions.

  24. University of Nebraska Medical Center

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,930(in state) / $28,020(out of state)
    • Tuition: $11,935
    • Credit Hours: 35
    • Has provided distance education courses for over 100 years
    • 85 hours of specific college prerequisite courses required to apply

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction59%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at School100.00%

    University of Nebraska’s Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science (BSMLS) is another exceptional program for those seeking to advance their degree. Coursework is completed independently, with theoretical and practical application experiences gained through recorded lectures, assignments/exercises, virtual laboratory simulations, and case studies. The program has start dates both in the fall and in the spring. 

  25. Excelsior College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $33,660
    • Credit Hours: 120
    • Up to 113 credits can be transferred towards your degree
    • Tuition discounts for partner institutions, military members, and participating community colleges

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction67%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online51

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department8
    Popularity at School27.68%

    At Excelsior College, you have the ultimate control of your degree. You can decide in which classes to transfer, which classes to take through Excelsior, and which credentials, experiences, or qualifications to place towards your Bachelor of Science. The program offers emphases in Health and Wellness, Management, and Public Health, but you can just as easily create your own specialization.